1952 Ford Vedette Pickup
From the The Automobile Magazine 'Oily Rag' Reserve
Collection; running well two years ago; needs wiring and a few
Originally conceived by Edsel Ford and Eugene ‘Bob’
Gregoire as a ‘light’ Ford model, the Vedette was designed entirely in Detroit
but internal politics decreed that it would adversely affect sales of other
larger Fords on the American market so it ended up getting made by the Blue
Oval’s French subsidiary instead, Ford SAF.
Introduced at the 1948 Mondial de L’Automobile in Paris,
the Vedette was powered by the Poissy-made 2158cc Aquilon sidevalve V8 as used
in pre-war Matford cars. Available in several different body styles (four-door
saloon; two-door landaulet; coupé; convertible; five-door Abeille estate), it
was the only French car with a V8 and never really grabbed the attention of the
To complicate matters, the Poissy factory did not have all
the necessary tooling so many vital components had to be made by subcontractors
which meant production was somewhat erratic. The Vedette was finally knocked on
the head in 1954 when Ford managed to get shot of their French connection by
selling the factory to Simca.
According to correspondence on file from The Early Ford V8
Club, this Ford Vedette Pickup Truck Type 49 2E was built in 1952. An original
French registration document shows that it was owned by a garage proprietor
named Henri Lecouffe of Genech, Prefecture du Nord, in 1955. Other
correspondence suggests that he had owned the vehicle from new when it was still
a car, getting it professionally converted into a pickup in 1955 and keeping it
for many years thereafter.
It was acquired for the Oily Rag Collection in early 2015
at which point it had been in storage for decades although the engine still
turned, the mileage was low and the structure was solid – thus ticking all the
right boxes for the collection.
Brought to the UK from Lille and registered here as WXG
993, it has been treated to some light recommissioning to get it running with
invoices showing attention to the brakes and steering plus a rebuilt Zenith
carburettor, refurbished fuel pump, new battery and new Michelin tyres
all-round. The front seats and door cards have been removed but are still
present in the rear cargo area. It will require electrical work before it goes
back on the road.
The history file also includes a V5C, what looks like an
original owner’s manual in French, some period Vedette sales brochures, magazine
articles, a French book on the Vedette and Comète range, Vedette Club literature
and some useful technical information about the model including wiring
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or